7 Most Disappointing Foodie Experiences

When you dine out as much as I do it’s only natural to expect a few disappointments. While getting a crap kebab or a bog standard burger can be a bit saddening, the worst is when you have seriously high hopes for a place only to have them dashed on the rocks of poor customer service. I’ve had quite a few sad foodie experiences in the past wee while, so I thought I’d share them with you lovely people.

The Time We Had To Wait Two Hours for Brunch

Cabslam

We popped into Cabslam for brunch one day because we’d heard awesome things. We sat down at 11am, ordered our brekkie, and we waited. Service was a bit slow, but after an hour I started to notice people who had arrived after us happily tucking into their food: in some cases the same food we’d ordered. Hmmm. I called over our waiter: he couldn’t even remember serving us. Then it turned out he’d lost our order. Cue another hour of waiting. Our food didn’t get bumped up the queue, and we weren’t offered free coffees to make up for the fact that we’d finished our drinks ages ago. The worst part is, to use their free Wi-Fi you have to like them on Facebook. So now I have to drool over their food knowing that I can never go back there because the service was so bad and I have principles. Sob.

The Time the Waitress Ate My Lunch

While we were in the Algarve we visited a restaurant known for its mixed grill. This formidable plate is enough for four people to share, or for two to stuff themselves full and still have some for lunch the next day. Thinking the leftovers would be handy for sandwiches the next day, I ordered it and shared with my dad. We asked for a doggy bag but it never came. As we were leaving my dad asked the owner if we could have our leftovers. She looked embarrassed and said “we must have thrown it out.” BUT! Just after our food was taken away we noticed the staff settling down for dinner. Suspicious! I’m not saying they ate my lunch, but they totally ate my lunch.

The Time We Had to Share a Table with Three French Men

The first sign something was off was that it was ‘Fresh Fish Friday’ but the menu was solely comprised of shellfish. The food was pretty average, but we were looking forward to dessert. Just before we could order it the waiter came over and asked us to budge over as he wanted to squeeze three more customers round our wee table. Didn’t really fancy eating my pudding when the guys sitting beside us were tucking into their garlicky starters, but sadly the waiter didn’t fancy bringing us the bill either. Awkward all round.

The Time We Got Served Raw Chicken

Lizarran is one of my favourite Spanish chains, so imagine my shock when I went into one of their restaurants in Madrid and got served this:

Lizarran Chicken

No apologies from the staff, nothing taken off our bill, nada. When I got in touch with Lizarran head office (via Twitter and email) I was also ignored! Moral of the story is, always cut your pintxo in half. Speaking of pintxos…

The Time We Went for Pintxos in Edinburgh

The arrival of an “authentic” Spanish tapas bar in Leith cheered me no end. But after visiting the place in question I realised this was 100% Edinburgh, 0% Sevilla. We ordered some bread and alioli and got about 3 teardrops of garlic mayo and six wee slices of bread for our £3.20. All the dishes were saucy, so we kept having to order more £3 bread baskets to mop up the juices. When my dad complained about the tiny portions and extortionate pricing he ended up in a Facebook slanging match with the owner. So I won’t be going back.

The Time We Went to a Fado Show

Fado

We had an amazing weekend in Lisbon just before Christmas. We ate so much good food, but sadly the weekend ended on a low note with a trip to a fado dinner show. The food was basically disgusting: my duck was overcooked and my rice was inedible. It was one of the most expensive meals we had all weekend. I spent the next couple of days suffering with food poisoning. Whether that’s the fado show’s fault or the Irish sausages my mum fed me when I got back to the Algarve is up for debate.

The Time We Got Invited on The Restaurant Inspector

Shortly after starting this blog, I paid a visit to Iggs. The food was nice but the service was awful. I complained on TripAdvisor and as a result got invited onto an episode of The Restaurant Inspector. Somehow they’d managed to make the restaurant even worse. We were left sitting for an hour waiting to pay for our drinks while the owner schmoozed with the TV crew. Eventually we just walked out, leaving our address in case they wanted to follow up for payment. They’ve closed down now, which is kind of a shame I suppose?

So, although not the worst meals I’ve ever eaten, these were definitely the most upsetting. What are your worst restaurant experiences?

REVIEW: Cookies Cream

If I said “vegetarian fine dining” you would probably raise an eyebrow. When I tell you it’s a vegetarian fine dining restaurant hidden down a back alley in Berlin, I’d imagine that eyebrow would raise a lot further. Unless you live in Berlin. Then you’re probably like “so far so typical”, right?

Cookies Cream is tucked away, out of sight, behind the Westin Hotel in Mitte. It’s just a few steps from some of the poshest shops in the city, and a five minute walk from the beautiful Gendarmenmarkt with its twin cathedrals. And when I say “behind the Westin Hotel” I mean “behind the Westin Hotel.”

Chandelier

To reach the restaurant you have to walk down the hotel’s service alley (yep, the place where they keep all the bins). Keep walking until you see a chandelier suspended in the alleyway and the romantic lights of a trendy bar. There’s a door, with a piece of paper on it with the restaurant name. Once you get there you know you’ve arrived.

Once you walk inside the sound of air conditioning vents is replaced by the ambient music and buzz of a trendy cocktail bar. We relaxed with a glass of riesling on one of the plush sofas until ourtable was ready. The bar is decorated in quite a quirky style, with lamps shaped like peacocks. There was a sign up saying “no photographs.” What is this, Berghain?

James is learning German, and as we climbed the stairs to the restaurant I noticed the word Ficken written behind the bar. I was already a bit tipsy (we’d had a cocktail in Newton, a champagne bar near Gendarmenmarkt) so I asked him what it meant. I know what it means, but he just deadpanned back “to fuck.” Alright captain serious!

Our friendly American waitress sat us down and handed us the menu, although I’d already studied it extensively online. I had a cosy booth seat while James had a chair that wouldn’t look out of place in a 1970’s office. The cocktails here looked amazing but as I was already half cut I decided against another aperitif. We went for a bottle of Grauburgunder wine instead. While we made up our minds we were given some lovely bread, served in a piece of steel guttering, with a lovely pesto and cottage cheese dip.

Cookies Cream have a very reasonable tasting menu with four pre-selected courses for €48 , but we decided to go for the regular menu (three courses for €39) so we could try a bit of everything. Unfortunately we couldn’t have a bit of everything, as there were a few options for every course on the menu. Still, we chose the things that sounded nicest, a few of which were included in the set menu.

L-R: Quail's egg on brioche, Seaweed caviar with ricotta
L-R: Quail’s egg on brioche, Seaweed caviar with ricotta

The two starters we chose were the quails egg in brioche, and the seaweed caviar with ricotta cheese. The first was rich and comforting, while the second was fresh and zingy. The brioche was soft and fresh, and the quail’s egg was done to  perfection. The seaweed caviar was lovely, the way it popped in the mouth, and the tangy herby sauce that accompanied it was also delicious.

Main courses: Top left potato lasagne, bottom left bread with pesto, right side parmesan dumplings
Main courses: Top left potato lasagne, bottom left bread with pesto, right side parmesan dumplings

The real winners were our main courses. I had the parmesan dumplings with crème of artichokes first and was quick to announce that they were the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. They came with a tandoori tomato sauce which added an interesting kick. We swapped plates and the dumplings were immediately usurped: the crunchy potato lasagne with fried asparagus was bloody delicious. There were mushrooms, swish cheese truffle, and radish dotted about the plate but I just couldn’t get over the genius of using crispy potato strips in place of lasagne sheets.

L-R: Almond pastry, White Chocolate
L-R: Almond pastry, White Chocolate

James thought the desserts were the best part of the meal. I had the almond pastry with frozen yoghurt, he had the white bubble chocolate and pistachio. My pastry had some interesting salted lemon and liquorice on the side, which definitely added a bit of character, while James’s chocolate was accompanied by home-made cassis ice cream and marscarpone. The ice cream was deliciously vibrant, both in colour and flavour.

Our waitress took our plates away and then stamped the digestif menu onto our table cloth, presumably with vegetable dye. We decided to finish our meal with a home-made infused brandy: williams pear for me, rhubarb for him. Although both ended up being for me as James decided he’d reached his boozy limit for the day.

Cookies Cream Digestif

In total we spent €140 (£90), which is very reasonable. Considering the quality of the food, the wine, and the overall experience, Cookies Cream is a must if you’re looking for a unique fine dining experience in Berlin.

Mango Madness

Forget the nightlife, the arts scene, the diverse culture and the huge number of networking opportunities for freelancers like me. One of the things I really missed during my six month absence from Berlin was the Turkish Market. This takes place every Tuesday and Friday on Maybachufer, beside the Landwehrkanal, and is basically the BEST place to buy fruit and veg.

Each week I come home with bags and bags of fresh herbs,cheap spices, and loads of ripe fruit and vegetables. Some weeks are better than others: a couple of weeks ago I picked up 4 kilos of limes for €3 (about £2.15). This week I grabbed 10 ripe and juicy mangoes for just €2 (£1.43): a steal, even when you take into account that they’re slightly beyond their best.

So what’s a girl to do with 10 mangoes that probably won’t last ’til tomorrow? Well, here’s what I did. All of these recipes are small batch, because only two of us live in this house and there’s only so much we can eat. Who needs 5 jars of chutney and a massive great cake? Not us. You can scale these recipes up if you fancy it.

Spicy Mango Chutney

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Makes one 400g jar

1 tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic
250ml vinegar
125g sugar
2 x ripe mangoes, chopped
1 x medium onion, diced
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1/2 tsp onion seeds

Put about an inch of water in the bottom of your pan. Add the sugar and the vinegar, and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Chuck everything else in and give it a good stir. Simmer for about 45 minutes. Keep an eye on it, stirring frequently. If it starts to dry out add another splash of water. You’ll know when it’s done, cos it will look like chutney! Spoon into a sterilised jar.

You can serve it with samosas, poppadoms, or on the side with your next roast chicken.

Mini Mango Loaf Cakes

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Makes 5 wee loafs

125g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
75g sugar
50ml oil
1x egg
1 tsp lime juice
1 x ripe mango
Half a handful of raisins (optional)
Half a handful of mixed nuts, chopped (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 175C, and mix all of the dry ingredients together in a big bowl. Chop your mango and blast it through the food processor until it’s turned to pulp. Beat the eggs with the oil and add it to the dry mixture, along with the mango. Mix it into a batter: if it’s a bit dry, add a splash of water until you get a nice battery consistency. Throw in your nuts and raisins. Pour the mixture into your lined loaf tins. Bake them for about half an hour-forty minutes, until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

These bad boys are moist and delicious. They’re also about 284 calories each, so save them for cheat day if you’re on a low cal diet. If not, fire them in your gob! 🙂

Mango Unchained!

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Makes about 1l of sauce

My boyfriend suggested the name for this mango and jalapeno hot sauce and I thought it was funny so I rolled with it. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here: I adapted this recipe from Food For My Family. I just used jalapenos instead of habaneros because that’s what I had in the fridge: that’s basically the only substitution. I used the seeds from two of them, because I like to live dangerously. I also didn’t bother squeezing it through muslin cos I like my sauce a bit chunky: I just went through it with a hand blender. If you find the sauce is a bit thick at the end (mine was more like soup) just top your bottle up with boiling water and give it a good shake until you reach the consistency you desire.

This sauce is absolutely fantastic: it’s tangy, light, and basically tastes like summer in a bottle. I can’t wait to drizzle it over grilled meats, add it to burgers, and pep up my salsas with it.

As for the rest of them…

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You may have noticed that only accounts for six mangoes. As for the other four… one was just too far gone so had to go in the bin. The other three, I froze. I’ll probably blitz them up with a dash of pineapple juice or coconut water for a quick sorbet.

If you want to freeze chunks of mango (or any other fruit), lie them flat on a baking sheet making sure they’re not touching. Stick the whole shebang in the freezer. Once they’re frozen solid, you can take them off the sheet and move them to a freezer bag. This stops the juice on the cut-side of the fruit from freezing together, and means you have nice manageable chunks of fruit instead of a brick.

Another Road Trip: Algarve to Berlin

Driving around Europe sounds sort of romantic, doesn’t it? When we bought our left hand drive car in the summer of 2012 we certainly thought so. Countless hours on French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Polish and Czech roads later and we’re kind of over it. Still, travelling with a car has its plus points. It makes moving house a lot easier, for one. For two, it also means you get to visit a lot of interesting places on your way from here to there.

Road trip lagos

Our latest road trip took us from Lagos in The Algarve (Portugal), to Neukoelln in Berlin (Germany).

The road trip before that (Berlin to Valencia) took three weeks, but that was far too long. This time we settled on seven days. That seemed just right. Seven days, seven stops. We tried to keep each day’s driving down to about five hours, any longer than that and we get serious road fatigue.

I’ve summed up the highlights of our trip, although to be honest we didn’t  get a chance to see or do too much as we were mostly driving, listening to podcasts, and trying to avoid the temptation of junk food.

Lagos to Granada (via Silves and Sesmarias): about 6 hours

Granada

Our first day on the road started later than we intended. Both sets of parents are based in the Algarve (mine for six months, James’ permanently) and it would be rude to leave without saying goodbye. Two pit stops and countless cups of tea later, we were on our way. We didn’t reach Granada until 9:30pm, where we encountered a bit of grid-lock on the by-pass. Thankfully our hotel was near the motorway exit, and was also a short stroll from some excellent tapas bars. Dinner time doesn’t start until 10pm in Andalusia so we had plenty of time to freshen up.

Granada to Valencia: 5 hours

Drive to Valencia

Living in Valencia didn’t work out for us, but we’ll never regret our time there because we got to meet Mike and Juergen from For 91 Days. It would be rude of us to drive across Spain without popping in to say hi, so we had a pit-stop in Valencia (and quite a few glasses of vino tinto). We still really need to give Valencia a proper second chance, as one night on the way to Berlin (and one month living by the beach) wasn’t enough.

Valencia to Girona: technically, 4.5 hours. Really, 8.5.

Girona

We were all set to hit Girona by lunch time when disaster struck. That’s for another longwinded blog post, : all I’m going to say is that if you’re going to break down in Spain, don’t do it on a Sunday. Once we arrived in Girona it was too late to walk into town, but we did wander up in the morning and oh my lord what a wonderful little city. It’s so beautiful, and the Catalan flags hanging from every window reminded me a bit of Leith last September, with the saltires hanging from almost every window.

Girona to Beaune: 7 hours

Beaune

When we were planning our route I suggested Beaune. For some reason I thought my favourite cheese, epoisses, came from there but I was wrong. It is, however, the wine capital of Burgundy. Guys, you should have seen the supermarket here. There was a GINORMOUS epoisses that I sadly wasn’t allowed to buy because Mr Sensible pointed out that it would make our car smell of dog farts. I was allowed to buy a magnum of cremant de bourgogne, however, and a few bottles of champagne and white burgundy.

Beaune to Strasbourg: 4 hours

Strasbourg

This is when we saw snow for the first time all winter and wondered why we were driving north anyway. Are we mad? After wandering around the city for ages looking for somewhere to eat we eventually stumbled upon Académie de la Bière: two people were just leaving a table and we managed to grab it. The beer was fantastic, as was the flammkuchen. Good music, great atmosphere, and exactly what we needed after a few long days on the road. I’d definitely recommend popping in.

Strasbourg to the Czech Republic: 5.5 hours

Cheb

We decided to mix things up a bit by driving straight across Germany to stay in a hotel just inside the Czech Republic, a short drive from a town called Cheb (heh heh heh). The hotel, called Seeberg, was just… wow. The views were fantastic, the decor was quaint, and we had a huge two person bath tub in our room! The breakfast was really good, too. The only down side was dinner: it got to 7:30pm and we decided to check out the restaurant across the way. It was closed, and it was the only place nearby. The hotel owner seemed confused that we wanted dinner, and said she could give us some cold meat or something. We decided to drive into town but it was the same story, nothing open.  I was gutted as I was really looking forward to trying some hearty Czech cuisine.

Czech Republic to Berlin: 4.5 hours

Berlin

Our last day of driving and the weather made us suffer. It started raining, but as soon as the rain hit our windscreen it froze. Our windscreen fluid had also frozen, and our wipers were needing replaced, so we pulled into a service station to grab some anti-freeze. While we were cleaning our windscreen a guy came over to us: at first I thought he was some kind of scammer but he was just looking for help. His car’s battery had drained and he needed someone to give him a jump start.

His story was quite interesting. He was checking out a flat in Leipzig for his Scottish flatmate, who he lives with in Wales, and only had 8 hours to make it to Denmark to get a ferry to Newcastle: where he’d be driving to Aberdeen to pick up his mate, then back down to Wales. He was deaf, and I felt a bit guilty that I can’t sign. We gave him a boost and he went on his way: if you’re out there dude, I hope you made it!

All in all I felt like this seven day drive was a bit of a whirlwind, and it made me realise that two nights in a place is better if you really want to see it. Stupidly I didn’t take time off to travel, so I was trying to squeeze in a few hours of work around driving and exploring.

3 Countries in One Day

I don’t have much time to spare tonight unfortunately, so it’s just a quick blog post about the highlights of leaving Germany and taking in three countries in one day!

Montage
Some of the sights we saw on our travels

Germany

We said goodbye to our wonderful hosts, Hans and Rita of the fantastic Gastehaus Lenz, and drove off south. We passed through plenty of gorgeous Black Forest towns on our way to the border. We’d heard that the prices in Lidl Switzerland are double that in Germany so thought we should pick up our messages before hitting our next apartment. We spotted an Edeka: I wanted to go in because I love the advert:

*Geil means ‘cool’ in English btw

Unfortunately their prices were more Waitrose than Asda so we just bought some bread, cheese and crisps and had a snack in the car park.

France

Wine Fair

We were getting awfy close to the border and still hadn’t picked up our shopping, so we decided to come off the motorway. At that point we noticed that if we turned right we’d be in France: so we did the wise thing, turned right, and visited the outskirts of the French town of St Louis.

In the supermarket we were dancing around like Jack Skellington, picking up cheeses and grabbing gold medal bottles of wine from the wine fair. We even had a look for compression bags to make more room in our car for a few boxes of wine (to no avail).

Switzerland

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Our first moment in Switzerland was meeting the motorway check-point lady.

“Where are you going?”

“Switzerland!”

*sigh* “Where in Switzerland?”

€40 later and we have a wee sticker on our window that lets us drive on Swiss motorways until January. Woohoo!

After driving through some pretty spectacular scenery, we eventually arrived at our guesthouse. James lost no time in making new friends.

IMG_0367He now wants to go to an expensive Swiss supermarket to buy some tuna for puss-puss: what happened to the tight Irish boyfriend I knew and loved!?

Walking in the Schwarzwald

Walking the West Highland Way earlier this year made me realise how lovely it is just to go walking in the nature. Since we’re staying in the middle of the Nationalpark Schwarzwald we obviously had to don our old walking shoes and get out for a stroll.

BlackForest1

The problem is, there’s not that much information online about walking routes. There’s MapMyWalk, but half of the data on there is from people tracking their dog walks or just how many calories they’ve burned en route to the supermarket. Thankfully we found a leaflet in our room with a few different routes: we  decided on one, and set off!

There were a few minor setbacks. Being children of the sat-nav generation we found that the map was hard to read (where’s the blue dot?!) and we went off track a couple of times. In the end though we ended up where we wanted to be, Freudenstadt, and found our way back to our wee B&B in Untermusbach.

Schwarzwald buildings

One of the highlights was finding a kinderspielplatz (playground) in the middle of nowhere. We bounced on the see-saw, climbed the climbing frame, and even went down the slide! James thought it was a bit scary, and got revenge on me by whirling me round on a tire swing til I almost puked.

Big feardie!
Big feardie!

I read something by Lauren Laverne today that said adults should play for at least five minutes a day. Done and done!

Fried bread, gateaux, and narrow streets

Our AirBnb host told us that we could check out whenever we wanted to today as she wouldn’t be back until late. We made the most of it and, after a lie in, wandered into Reutlingen for a couple of hours. Here are the highlights…

Eating Hungarian street food

Langos

After spotting a few people tucking into these bad boys I knew I wasn’t going to be able to walk on by. We joined the queue and I ordered us a lángos with garlic butter and cheese. Friends, today I learned the true meaning of the word “lecker”. This thing was bloody delicious: like a doughnut crossed with garlic bread crossed with cheese on toast. Basically all of my favourite things all in one tasty fried package. Yum!

Walking down the world’s narrowest street

spreuerhofstraße

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that Reutlingen is home to the narrowest street in the world, Spreuerhofstraße. Obviously we couldn’t leave without paying it a visit! It’s tucked away behind some buildings near the church. It’s a really pretty area with nice timber framed buildings straight out of a fairytale. Probably one about innocent town folk pissed off with tourists snapping photos of their back alley. After taking our photos we shimmeyed down the street and, feeling rather skinny, we decided to move on to our next culinary adventure.

Finally getting to order Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte 

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

AKA black forest gateau. I “studied” German in high school, and my best pal Euan and I for some reason became obsessed with the word Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte as it was the longest word we knew in German. Now I see it’s actually two words- dreams, shattered. We also became obsessed with the name “Hans Peter” as every lad in our German textbook examples was called Hans Peter. Anyway. Saying Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte out loud to a waitress ticked off some sort of bucket list item I didn’t know was on there. If my standard grade self could see me now…

Bonus: our guest house owner is called Hans Peter. Clearly whoever wrote our German textbooks spent a lot of time in this part of the country…

We also managed to spend about €20 in the market on artisan Swiss cheeses, fresh Italian bread,and fresh Pfifferling (chanterelle) mushrooms. But hey, it’s Saturday, so why not?

Tonight we’re staying in the lovely Gastehaus Lenz in the Black Forest. I really enjoy the personal touches of guesthouses: today we were greeted with a bottle of rosé and a bowl of Ferrero chocolates. Nice.

 

One Night in Reutlingen

I’m going to start this post by saying a big frohe geburtstag to Germany, as today marks 24 years since the reunification! It’s a bank holiday today, and wow did we ever get the weather for it.

Tonight we’re staying in lovely Reutlingen, in an extremely comfy apartment we found on Airbnb. Tell me you don’t just want to snuggle up on that sofa and have a big nap?

IMG_0247

That’s exactly what I did- after taking a nice wander in the lovely Oktober sunshine, naturlich! Colourful autumn foliage, pure blue skies, and Disney village buildings.

I must say, I’m really enjoying this part of Germany. Berlin was nice and everything, but I haven’t seen a hipster in days and it’s nice to feel like you can sit still for ten minutes without being graffiti’d. I’m being facetious of course, but it’s so nice to get out of the city. Which is a funny thing to say, because Munich and Reutlingen are both cities: it’s just that compared to Berlin they feel positively pastoral.

Anyway, enough streams of consciousness. Time for some photos!

Reutlingen2

Apparently Reutlingen is famous for having the narrowest street in the world, Spreuerhofstraße, which is just 31cm wide. There you go.

We grabbed lunch at Café Konditorei Sommer, a lovely place in the old town, and did a bit of people watching. I had the schnitzel with chips, James had grilled pork with potato croquettes. Both were very tasty, but I was most impressed with the complimentary salad starter (with the best potato salad I’ve ever eaten) and even better, a complimentary dessert!
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Yum!

Tonight we’re going to have a very rock ‘n’ roll Friday night of takeaway pizza, Netflix, and a bit of lounging on that amazingly large couch. What do you lovely lot have planned? Please tell me you’re doing something slightly more exciting!

Munich: First Impressions

Last night we wandered into town to get our first taste of Oktoberfest. It was insane.

Being completely sober and in our jeans, we felt pretty out of place among the crowds of people wearing Bavarian dress and completely off their faces. Still, we decided to power through. We started our evening well, with a Kasakrainer: a sausage with cheese in the middle that we first tried in Berlin at Christmas, but couldn’t find anywhere since. Our holy grail!

We even made it into one beer hall, where we felt like we’d been shrunk because the food and drink were so big.

Oktoberfest 1

Weirdly the whole fair seemed to close up at 11pm, which is really early by our standards. In Berlin you can get up at 7am on a Sunday morning and catch the tail end of Friday night’s clubbing sesh. Then again, judging by the state of a fellow Scot I saw around 9pm propped against some scaffolding, I’d say it’s probably for the best.

Our journey home was pretty eventful, too. We saw an American guy getting punched by his girlfriend after he started screaming in her face. She’d climbed onto the S-bahn tracks to retrieve a mobile phone, but his reaction was a wee bit OTT. Then we got chucked off our train 5 stops early because of trouble on the tracks further down. We finally got into our lovely hotel after 1am, which was a bit crap as I had to get up at 7am to finish up some work.

Munich buildings

As a result I was exhausted today. Unfortunately I didn’t get to enjoy wandering about Munich this afternoon as much as I’d have liked to. Still. We saw some gorgeous buildings, ate some stodgy Bavarian fare, and James got some new running shoes. The sun even came out for us at one point!

Few thoughts from today:

  • Getting up early to get work done is awesome! I managed to finish pretty much all of it by 11am, giving me the rest of the day to wander about and enjoy myself. Ah, freedom.
  • Scratch that. Getting up early is the worst thing ever. I need some Red Bull, or some coffee, or maybe even a cup of tea. BED IS THE BEST PLACE EVER.
  • We spend our childhoods being told not to talk to strangers, then spend our early adulthoods trying to get over mental hurdles so we can approach strangers at business events or in the pub. Think on that!

Munich market

I’ve just woken up from a much needed nap. Off to see a bit more of Oktoberfest tonight. Who knows: someone might even buy me one of those gingerbread love hearts this evening.

 

Goodbye Berlin; Hello Munich!

I’m taking part in a 30 day blog challenge. I’m going to make the effort to write something fresh every day in October. It shouldn’t be too hard, as I’m basically going to be on the road for most of the month. Here’s hoping this will help me get back into the swing of things!

BerlinRT1

 

It’s 7:42pm and I absolutely stink. Thankfully, my hotel room doesn’t. Shout out to the most excellent Room for Rent in Munich, which is the first hotel I’ve been in that looks better in real life than it does on the booking site.

Anyway, the reason I’m so smelly isn’t because of my poor personal hygiene. It’s because I’ve spent most of the day sitting in the car. Although that mostly involves sitting on my bum, it surprisingly makes me almost as sweaty, hungry, and tired as a 5k run.

Our five months in Berlin are finally up, and we’re on the move again. Our next long stay will be Valencia in Spain, for five months, but we don’t move in until the 20th. This gives us time for an awesome road trip. We’ve got some fun stuff planned, starting with Munich: more specifically, Oktoberfest!

Berlin RT 2

Thoughts from today:

  • Zooming along the autobahn like you’re in warp drive is basically awesome.
  • Plucking my eyebrows while stuck in traffic in Berlin is probably something I shouldn’t admit to doing*, but I ain’t got no shame. The mirrors and lighting in the car is perfect.
  • I don’t know what’s more annoying: the persistent itch on the sole of my right foot while I’m driving and have no opportunity to stop and give it a scratch, or having “Bound 2” stuck in my head all day. Actually, I think I know the answer. Uh huh, honey.

*Don’t worry: James was driving at that point